Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry.

DEXAWhy you may need a Bone Mineral Density (BMD) test?

Your doctor may schedule a BMD test to help confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis before a fracture occurs, detect low bone mass before osteoporosis develops or monitor the effects of treatment on bone density over time.

How much radiation will I be exposed to during the test?

Bone mineral density (BMD) tests use small amounts of radiation to determine the density of the spine, hip or total body. Your radiation exposure is minimal and will be about the same as you would experience on a cross-country airline flight, which is a fraction of what you would receive from a chest X-ray. The DEXA test is the best way to tell if you have thinning bones.

How is a bone density test performed?

The DEXA machine measures your bone density using a painless, touch-free scan, similar to an X-ray. You will be asked to lie on a padded table while a scanner passes over the area to be tested, typically the spine and hips. The DEXA machine will complete your bone density test within a few minutes. Your scan results are then compared with the average BMD of healthy adults of your age and sex. The final interpretation will be done by your physician and discussed with you.

How to prepare for your DEXA exam?

For your comfort, wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. Please avoid wearing zippers, buckles, or metal buttons during the exam. Do not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours prior to your appointment.